Zandbergen to Make Beyond Meat Products in Netherlands

Beyond Meat, Inc. is expanding its partnership with Zandbergen World’s Finest Meat in the Netherlands to produce the brand’s range of plant-based meat substitutes at a purpose-built factory now under construction by Zandbergen in Zoeterwoude, South Holland. 

Upon completion of the facility, which is expected in the first quarter of 2020, the manufacturing alliance will herald El Segundo, California-headquartered Beyond Meat’s first production capability outside the United States. Localized manufacturing will reduce the company’s transportation footprint, while increasing the speed in which Beyond Meat can get products to customers across continental Europe.

“The consumer response in Europe has been very positive and we look forward to being able to better serve those customers with locally produced products,” said Seth Goldman, executive chairman of Beyond Meat. “We are pleased to have strong strategic partners like Zandbergen to help us grow globally.” 

1 new factoryBeyond Meat Executive Chairman Seth Goldman (third from left) joins members of the Zandbergen World’s Finest Meat team gathered outside the new plant being built in the Netherlands to produce plant-based meat substitutes. They are (left to right): Charlotte Zandbergen, chief marketing officer; Adriaan Figee, chief commercial officer; Ton Zandbergen, founder and president; Joris Zandbergen, chief executive officer; Barbara Zandbergen, human resource director; and Willem Spigt, sales manager.

Last year, Zandbergen World’s Finest Meat began distributing Beyond Meat offerings to both foodservice and retail channels throughout Europe. Orders have been increasing steadily ever since.

“As the demand for plant-based products continues to expand, we are thrilled to be partnering with Beyond Meat to produce their innovative products outside the United States,” said Adriaan Figee, Zandbergen’s chief commercial officer.

The Albert Heijn retail chain in the Netherlands began stocking Beyond Meat’s Beyond Burger at more than 700 stores on April 26, following the brand’s debut at Delhaize supermarket outlets the day before. The line is also stocked at Tesco shops in the United Kingdom.

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"With our launch at Albert Heijn, we are excited to introduce Dutch consumers to the delicious taste and texture of the Beyond Burger. Our mission is to make plant-based protein products more accessible, and we’re proud to partner with one of the largest retailers in the Netherlands to advance that goal,” said Ihab Leheta, Beyond Meat’s director of international sales. “Whether you’re a hardcore meat eater, vegan or somewhere in between, you can enjoy our burger while receiving the added health and environmental benefits of plant-based meat." 

Meanwhile, on the foodservice front the company is focused on expanding availability through popular burger chains and other restaurant operations.

Beyond Meat promotes itself as a purveyor of “nutritious plant-based meat alternatives free of soy, gluten and GMOs that deliver a consumer experience that is indistinguishable from that provided by animal-based meats.” In addition to the USA and continental Europe, the brand is marketed internationally through distributors in Australia, Chile, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, Israel, the Middle East, New Zealand, South Korea and Taiwan.

Highly Successful IPO

Founded in 2009 by entrepreneur Ethan Brown, the company has seen its stock (BYND) price soar by over 200% since an initial public offering (see FrozenFoodsBiz BUZZ article by John Saulnier posted at this website) was floated on May 2. Opening at $46 a share, well above the expected $25 range with an implied market value of $1.46 billion, by the end of the day shares had surged 163% to generate a market value of $3.77 billion. The performance proved to be the strongest debut of the year for any IPO on the Nasdaq Exchange.

3 IPO

When day trading concluded on May 28, as this story was about to be filed, shares were quoted at $86.00 – up $6.33 or 7.95%. Market capitalization stood at over $5 billion.

This is extraordinary for such a startup venture, considering that it lost about $30 million last year on net sales of almost $88 million, and posted an identical $30 million loss in 2017, when receipts were only $34 million. Then again, Beyond Meat’s revenue stream increased by 170% in 2018 as the rising wave of faux meat burger patties that “bleed” with beet juice when grilled has spread throughout the United States, crossed the Atlantic and Pacific and entered the Middle East.

The company’s portfolio of frozen and refrigerated plant-based protein, which includes faux beef crumbles ideal for taco filling, Italian sausages and German-style brats as well as burger patties, is available at more than 30,000 retail and foodservice outlets worldwide. 

About Zandbergen

Headquartered about 37 kilometers north of Rotterdam in Zoeterwoude – which also happens to be the home of Heineken’s biggest brewery – Zandbergen World’s Finest Meat specializes in sourcing premium frozen and chilled beef, lamb, veal, pork and poultry from North and South America, Thailand, Australia and New Zealand. It supplies customers in all EU member states in addition to Switzerland, Norway and the United Arab Emirates. The company started offering alternative protein products in 2018.

Founded 45 years ago, family-owned Zandbergen has two generations of experience in navigating the challenges of import trade flows and mastering regulatory details of global business. It has been the preferred distributor of IBP and Tyson Foods beef products in Europe for more than two decades, and has created a number of proprietary brands including The Frozen Butcher and TrustMyChicken.

After scoring success with The Frozen Butcher range of international beef burger offerings, a portfolio that today sells more than six million units per annum, Zandbergen has continued to expand its brand portfolio by entering the value-added chicken sector.

Having learned valuable lesions in the proper way to freeze red meat, the company has embraced the practice of roasting and frying chicken product prior to freezing it. This assures fresh-frozen quality and superior taste. Free of artificial flavors, preservatives and colorings, the protein-packed, 100% chicken offering is currently found in sports nutrition and healthy-eating markets. It will be available on European supermarket shelves starting in July of 2019. – Reported by John Saulnier

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